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  1. #1
    Senior Member zvez's Avatar
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    THe new Rider first engineered Specialized Tarmac bike for 2015

    So, specialized had this posted on the facebook page:

    Specialized Bicycle Components

    Redesigned Tarmac, specially appealing, they're going to offer a limited edition Mclaren engineering tarmac S-Works to be released during TdF. They issued a Mclaren bike a couple years ago I think.

    This Tarmac has some interesting things on it. And you can get with disc or conventional brakes.




    Chris

  2. #2
    Senior Member Garfield Cat's Avatar
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    Is it about the layups of the carbon fiber material more than the geometry? The tube shapes maybe? The thin walls or the similar tube shapes like in the Cervelo R5?

  3. #3
    Senior Member dvdslw's Avatar
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    Isn't it strange that the test riders are wearing "Giant" jersey's? I know its not the bike branding but still? The new bike looks pretty nice though.

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    has a Large Member Campag4life's Avatar
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    Much can be written in response the new rider first engineered bike for 2015. You guys have heard me say I believe that Specialized makes the best road bikes in the world. I do believe it owning one of their frames and riding others and belng around the brand. But this marketing concept that Specialized has hung their hat on for 2015 in concept is bogus if not flawed for a couple of reasons:

    A. rider specific aka size/height/weight/power has been engineered into framesets...especially carbon for the last ten years by all top manufacturers
    B. within a given frame size...lets take a 58 cm what I ride there is a huge disparity in rider weight...some in height...but in power as well. Lets call it a normal distribution. So a relatively weak and fat amateur if truly being rider specific would require a different frame than a top pro capable of 2000 watts and being much lighter. This has manifested for years in pros having custom frames with stiffness reinforcement because of their unusual power.
    C. Above even plays into geometry. If there is a new rider first concept, it pertains to geometry. Two riders of the same size...but different proportion of inseam and flexibility will require a different geometry. This is addressed with endurance genre of bikes that Specialized invented.

    So I call foul on this transparent marketing attempt as an sort of revolution or even evolution in bike design. It isn't. Every manufacturer has tailored frame flex of small to big frames based upon the different needs of rider size and weight. This has been happening for years. Does Specialized have the most advanced testing techniques based upon contracting such great companies like McClaren? Absolutely. But all Specialized is doing, which is formidable, is elevating the technical level of their road bikes...just like groupset and wheel manufacturers have and continue to do. But this new rider first 'theme' is misguided or a poor representation of their overall design effort.

    Also what the video fails to explain is how the frame flex will be affected with the SL5 versus SL4. For example they said the 61 was too soft and the 52 was too stiff. Again this is based upon the load profile of a particular demographic of rider. Also, if stiffness is focused on cornering, this is placed as priority over ride quality and transmission of energy for maximum efficiency...they are all related. The overall equation is hugely complex to create the perfect bike but the point is the perfect bike is specific to each rider who buys one...not some statistical norm. If you read into the video, Specialized stiffened the 61 to improve corning speed and softened the 52. Let's take the 61 rider. The SL4 maybe a more perfect bike therefore for the weaker rider who doesn't carve turns at 6 sigma down a road course which most of us don't.
    Also they said in the video that the difference between SL4 and SL5 was 1 kph..which is .5 mph...at what, maximum speed down a closed road course with a hundred repetitions? If you sent 10 good bike riders down the same course their speed would like vary by 4 mph or more. I never ride at that extreme personally because I never know how much sand is on the road when laying the bike over because I don't like the taste of asphalt so that 1/2 mph difference is nebulous...even if it applied to my rider signature that likely doesn't correlate to what Specialized used to develop the frame size I ride for example.
    Last edited by Campag4life; 05-14-14 at 12:54 PM.

  5. #5
    Senior Member elcruxio's Avatar
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    Oh lawd... They have a S-Works disc brake model....

  6. #6
    Senior Member zvez's Avatar
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    So are discbrakes the way of the future on road bikes or just s short term fad? Specialized offers either disc or standard on this bike so maybe they're covering bases.

    I'd like to demo a tarmac and see how different it is from my s-works roubaix. At my level it seems unlikely I'd discern a difference.
    Chris

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    Senior Member halfspeed's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zvez View Post
    So are discbrakes the way of the future on road bikes or just s short term fad? Specialized offers either disc or standard on this bike so maybe they're covering bases.

    I'd like to demo a tarmac and see how different it is from my s-works roubaix. At my level it seems unlikely I'd discern a difference.
    Chris
    It depends a great deal on what happens with the price and braking track on carbon rims.
    Telemachus has, indeed, sneezed.

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    Professional Fuss-Budget Bacciagalupe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Garfield Cat View Post
    Is it about the layups of the carbon fiber material more than the geometry?
    My guess is they tweaked the geometry for different sizes. They then called up the marketing department to see how they could sell it.

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    Professional Fuss-Budget Bacciagalupe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zvez View Post
    So are discbrakes the way of the future on road bikes or just s short term fad?
    Rim brakes aren't going away. Disc brakes will just be another option.


    I'd like to demo a tarmac and see how different it is from my s-works roubaix.
    The Roubaix will ride smoother, the handling won't be as snappy. Some people will fit better on a Roubaix than a Tarmac.

  10. #10
    Senior Member WhyFi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bacciagalupe View Post
    My guess is they tweaked the geometry for different sizes. They then called up the marketing department to see how they could sell it.
    Some manufacturers work with size-specific tubing to (supposedly) give different sized frames more appropriate compliance/stiffness for the person that they imagine will be riding it. It sounds like S was aiming for the same effect... and then having the marketing dept sell it.
    Quote Originally Posted by RollCNY View Post
    I would wager that not riding in Minnesota is just as fatiguing as not riding in New York.

  11. #11
    pan y agua merlinextraligh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by halfspeed View Post
    It depends a great deal on what happens with the UCI.
    FTFY. Even though UCI regs aren't applicable to 99.99% of riders (heck not even 99% of racers), if the UCI doesn't allow discs to be used in UCI road events, discs won't become common on high end road bikes.

    What the pros ride influences what we buy.
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  12. #12
    Senior Member dvdslw's Avatar
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    Road disc makes too much sense not to be adopted by all who sanction and ride road bikes. Maybe it's an unfair advantage and or safety issue? I mean you get much improved stopping power which has proven itself in the mtb world, no carbon rim explosions from excessive heating of the brake surface, and a better looking set of wheels, especially aluminum wheels (no brake track). Seems to me Road Disc has taken the same approach as Road Tubeless, plenty of advantages to using the tech but not enough product and people willing to take the plunge.

  13. #13
    RidingLikeCrazy! rangerdavid's Avatar
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    Marketing ploy.
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  14. #14
    Senior Member halfspeed's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by merlinextraligh View Post
    FTFY. Even though UCI regs aren't applicable to 99.99% of riders (heck not even 99% of racers), if the UCI doesn't allow discs to be used in UCI road events, discs won't become common on high end road bikes.

    What the pros ride influences what we buy.
    I suspect it's less important than you think. How much does your Wilier weigh? UCI restrictions don't seem to be preventing many people from riding sub 15 pound bikes. If there's a real market for road discs, and clearly Trek and Specialized think so, then we'll see them regardless of what the UCI says.
    Telemachus has, indeed, sneezed.

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    Quote Originally Posted by halfspeed View Post
    I suspect it's less important than you think. How much does your Wilier weigh? UCI restrictions don't seem to be preventing many people from riding sub 15 pound bikes. If there's a real market for road discs, and clearly Trek and Specialized think so, then we'll see them regardless of what the UCI says.
    I think you're both partly right. I'm sure disc brakes will become more popular on road bikes, but they'll never become ubiquitous until the UCI allows them.

  16. #16
    Senior Member halfspeed's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dvdslw View Post
    Road disc makes too much sense not to be adopted by all who sanction and ride road bikes. Maybe it's an unfair advantage and or safety issue? I mean you get much improved stopping power which has proven itself in the mtb world, no carbon rim explosions from excessive heating of the brake surface, and a better looking set of wheels, especially aluminum wheels (no brake track). Seems to me Road Disc has taken the same approach as Road Tubeless, plenty of advantages to using the tech but not enough product and people willing to take the plunge.
    I think you're overstating the case. First, the biggest limiter in stopping power on road bikes is the contact patch of the tire and not the caliper. Second, as rotor size and brake design get optimized to road conditions and weight concerns differences in real world stopping power will shrink further. So that comes down to the carbon rim issue. And for that to be a big enough deal to create a mass market for discs, you need a mass market for carbon rims which means significantly reduced costs. Even if that does happen, carbon rim braking surfaces are improving at the same time. And the better carbon rims get at stopping and shedding heat, the less need there is for discs...

    So the best scenario for road discs is that you'll pay a small weight penalty, a higher dollar cost and in return get a marginal improvement in braking.
    Telemachus has, indeed, sneezed.

  17. #17
    pan y agua merlinextraligh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by halfspeed View Post
    I suspect it's less important than you think. How much does your Wilier weigh? UCI restrictions don't seem to be preventing many people from riding sub 15 pound bikes. If there's a real market for road discs, and clearly Trek and Specialized think so, then we'll see them regardless of what the UCI says.
    The buyers of high end road bikes buy what the Pro's ride. History shows that UCI illegal bikes don't sell, at least in large numbers.

    Remember the TREK Y Foil? Back in the early 90's or so, there were a bunch of non diamond frame bikes being built. UCI said a bike had to have a diamond frame, and with the exception of some triathletes those bikes went away. Bikes are diamond frame bcause the UCI says they have to be.

    Going further back, recumbents never got much main stream acceptance because the UCI says they aren't bikes.

    In cyclocross, you didn't see disc brakes on cyclocross bikes in any number until the UCI approved disc brakes for cyclocross.

    The UCI weight limit hasn't prevented the sale of bikes below the UCI weight limit. However, we still ride the same bikes the Pros ride; the pros just build them up heavier (adding weight as necessary to meet the UCI limit)

    Ironically, if we end up with discs on road bikes, the UCI weight limit will be one of the drivers. Because the Pros have to ride bikes weighing 14.9lbs or more, they will add stuff that otherwise would be rejected due to weight. (might as well put a power meter on if your still below 14.9)

    So, as long as the weight limit remains 14.9lbs, (and the UCI allows discs) there is no weight penalty to using disc brakes for the Pros. Thus many pro teams (and the their equipment sponsors) may very well go to discs, and we'll follow along because that's what we do, and what we'll be sold by the marketers. And we'll have the weight penalty.

    No UCI weight limit, and it's unlikely Pros would use disc brakes on a regular basis, and No pro use, and most of us don't use them.
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  18. #18
    Senior Member halfspeed's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Young Version View Post
    I think you're both partly right. I'm sure disc brakes will become more popular on road bikes, but they'll never become ubiquitous until the UCI allows them.
    What happens with USA Cycling is a much bigger deal. AFAIK, there's no rule against them.

    Even so, you'll see what's already happening, road discs arriving en masse on "endurance" road bikes which really aren't meant to be raced anyway so they have even less need to adhere to race rules.
    Telemachus has, indeed, sneezed.

  19. #19
    Senior Member halfspeed's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by merlinextraligh View Post
    The buyers of high end road bikes buy what the Pro's ride. History shows that UCI illegal bikes don't sell, at least in large numbers.

    Remember the TREK Y Foil? Back in the early 90's or so, there were a bunch of non diamond frame bikes being built. UCI said a bike had to have a diamond frame, and with the exception of some triathletes those bikes went away. Bikes are diamond frame bcause the UCI says they have to be.

    Going further back, recumbents never got much main stream acceptance because the UCI says they aren't bikes.

    In cyclocross, you didn't see disc brakes on cyclocross bikes in any number until the UCI approved disc brakes for cyclocross.

    The UCI weight limit hasn't prevented the sale of bikes below the UCI weight limit. However, we still ride the same bikes the Pros ride; the pros just build them up heavier (adding weight as necessary to meet the UCI limit)

    Ironically, if we end up with discs on road bikes, the UCI weight limit will be one of the drivers. Because the Pros have to ride bikes weighing 14.9lbs or more, they will add stuff that otherwise would be rejected due to weight. (might as well put a power meter on if your still below 14.9)

    So, as long as the weight limit remains 14.9lbs, (and the UCI allows discs) there is no weight penalty to using disc brakes for the Pros. Thus many pro teams (and the their equipment sponsors) may very well go to discs, and we'll follow along because that's what we do, and what we'll be sold by the marketers. And we'll have the weight penalty.

    No UCI weight limit, and it's unlikely Pros would use disc brakes on a regular basis, and No pro use, and most of us don't use them.
    Oh, I'm famliar with that history but the market (and marketing) is different. Since Specialized discovered that you can sell CF Rivendell clones to geriatric weekend warriors, there's a bonanza of "endurance" road bikes which aren't intended to be ridden competitively. Disc brakes are a much easier sell on these, regardless of what UCI says and very possibly a big enough market to support many road disc options.
    Telemachus has, indeed, sneezed.

  20. #20
    pan y agua merlinextraligh's Avatar
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    ^ Sale of endurance road bikes is definitely helped by Cancellera winning Paris Roubaix and Tour of Flanders on a Domane, and Boonen on a Roubaix.

    I do think you're right that we'll likely see disc brakes to some degree on road bikes, even if they're UCI illegal, mostly in uses like you suggest.

    I don't think they'll become the dominant manner of braking on road bikes unless the UCI allows them. UCI legal, and 14.9lb weight limit, I think you'll see most pro teams using them at least some of the time, and we'll follow right behind.
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    Senior Member Looigi's Avatar
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    I have hydro discs on my mtb. They work great but can be a PITA. For me, it makes more sense to have rim brakes on my road bikes; simpler, fewer parts, lighter and more aero!
    Ride more. Fret less.

  22. #22
    has a Large Member Campag4life's Avatar
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    I like tech but have to say, I am undecided on disk brakes on road bikes even though they are starting to appear. And I am a guy who likes disk brakes having owned a 29er with them...mechanical BB7 brakes and I believe they are great for that application. But I am undecided on road bikes.

    Part of it is weight even though Merlin makes a compelling point about the UCI limit which I am never near. Also I am pretty insulated from the UCI affecting my buying decision although I do agree it may affect amateur racers...though wonder how many who own a Venge actually pin on a number. Second reason is cost..they cost more.
    Third factor is aerodynamics...maybe miniscule but none the less perhaps not directionally correct. Next is the debate over contact patch and braking....I have locked up the front wheel before with caliper brakes and gone over the handlebars. And last point is...I believe the pros have different requirements than Joe average me because of racing in the peloton and high speed descending.

    So as a pilot of even a geriatric CF Rivendell referenced which btw, I believe is the fastest bike for someone that is less flexible and older compared to a more aggressive geometry, I am not sure I would order a road bike with discs personally. I will add, to set rotor brakes up perfectly they are more fiddly than caliper brakes. Add hydraulic disk and a different level of complexity and cost.
    Last edited by Campag4life; 05-14-14 at 01:20 PM.

  23. #23
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Campag4life View Post
    I like tech but have to say, I am undecided on disk brakes on road bikes even though they are starting to appear. Am I am a guy who like disk brakes having owned a 29er with them...mechanical BB7 brakes and I believe they are great for that application. But I am undecided on road bikes.
    Part of it is weight even though Merlin makes a compelling point about the UCI limit which I am never near. Second reason is cost..they cost more.
    Third factor is aerodynamics...maybe miniscule but none the less perhaps not directionally correct. Second is the debate over contact patch and braking....I have locked up the front wheel before with caliper brakes and gone over the handlebars. And last point is...I believe the pros have different requirements that Joe average me because of racing in the Peloton and high speed descending.

    So as a pilot of even a geriatric CF Rivendell referenced which btw, I believe is the fastest bike for someone that is less flexible and older compared to a more aggressive geometry, I am not sure I would order road bike with discs personally. I will add, to set rotor brakes up perfectly they are more fiddly than caliper brakes. Add hydraulic disk and a different level of complexity and cost.
    There are two other factors that affect use of disc brakes by the pros:

    -Brake rotors have sharp edges, and in a major pileup there's a potential for serious injury. Could this be overcome? Absolutely, but it requires some design revisions
    -Right now, support vehicles have to think about whether a rider is using Shimano/SRAM or Campy and whether the rider is on 10 or 11 speed when providing spare wheels. Disc brakes vs rim brakes and 140mm vs 160mm rotor would only add to the confusion.

  24. #24
    Senior Member halfspeed's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by merlinextraligh View Post
    ^ Sale of endurance road bikes is definitely helped by Cancellera winning Paris Roubaix and Tour of Flanders on a "Domane", and Boonen on a "Roubaix".
    ftfy. The pros get special geometry on their versions of those bikes.

    I do think you're right that we'll likely see disc brakes to some degree on road bikes, even if they're UCI illegal, mostly in uses like you suggest.

    I don't think they'll become the dominant manner of braking on road bikes unless the UCI allows them. UCI legal, and 14.9lb weight limit, I think you'll see most pro teams using them at least some of the time, and we'll follow right behind.
    Yeah, I'm not convinced they'll take over on race bikes any time soon. Not enough upside to make up for the downside. Haven't they been withdrawn from cyclocross rules?
    Telemachus has, indeed, sneezed.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dvdslw View Post
    Isn't it strange that the test riders are wearing "Giant" jersey's? I know its not the bike branding but still? The new bike looks pretty nice though.
    Those are California GIANT cycling team jersey's which Spesh sponsors...

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